As of today, teams are allowed to contact the representatives for players who will become free agents when their contracts expire at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, although no contracts can be executed with free agents until Monday afternoon. The Falcons have re-signed a few of the guys from their locker room who were set to hit free agency (Matt Bryant, Eric Weems, Nate Stupar, Charles Godfrey, Cliff Matthews and Patrick DiMarco) but many more players remain in limbo.
We posed the question of which player readers would most like to see the team re-sign earlier this week, and the results were pretty interesting. Sean Weatherspoon received the most support from fans wishing to see him retained by the Falcons with 661 votes. Antone Smith was second with 395 votes, Corey Peters was third with 213 votes and coming in fourth was Dwight Lowery with 185 votes.
The bad news? None of those players have actually been re-signed by the Falcons.
Re-signing Lowery is looking unlikely following the team's decision to re-sign veteran Charles Godfrey. ESPN's Vaughn McClure also says that the Falcons are likely to target a taller safety in free agency. Lowery is 5'11". (So is Godfrey, for what it's worth.
Reports have circulated that Corey Peters is seeking a big payday, on par with the salaries of Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai, which is unlikely to happen in Atlanta given the fact that the Falcons have already given those salaries to Jackson and Soliai. Other reports have circulated suggesting that those reports are inaccurate. Who knows? Peters is a good player and it would be ideal to retain him, but time will tell.
ESPN's McClure said that the Falcons are interested in retaining Antone Smith, and from what Smith told McClure, it sounds like he's interested in remaining in Atlanta, also. There are also rumors circulating the the Giants are interested in the dynamic running back. Smith is coming off of a broken tibia, shouldn't be terribly expensive, and would be a good fit for Kyle Shanahan's scheme.
Head coach Dan Quinn has said repeatedly that he'd like to have Sean Weatherspoon in Atlanta next season, citing his toughness and his ability to play fast and physical. Thomas Dimitroff echoed the sentiment, and there have been optimistic rumors about a deal getting done before 'Spoon hits the open market. We're running out of time for that to happen, however, so we'll have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
What do you think about the players the Falcons have signed, and what do you think about the fact that they haven't locked up deals with Sean Weatherspoon, Antone Smith, Corey Peters, and Dwight Lowery?